Europe

Eurozone growth confirmed at 0.5 percent, more than US

Official figures confirm that the economy of the 19-country eurozone grew by a steady, if unspectacular, quarterly rate of 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

The update from Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, also confirmed that the eurozone performed better than the U.S. in the first quarter. The U.S. economy, according to Eurostat, expanded by 0.2 percent.

Of the large majority that have released figures, only Greece showed output declining. Greece has now shrunk for two straight quarters — the technical definition of a recession.

Germany, the eurozone's largest economy, was a key ingredient behind the region's growth, expanding by 0.6 percent. France, the number 2, fared less well, growing by 0.3 percent.

However, a raft of indicators shows France and others picking up momentum.